Left Opua after dark, knowing that the conditions would be sloppy, but that weather would also be improving.
Turns out that sloppy conditions are one thing to discuss in port, and another to experience live and in person.
We had 3m of swell directly in our face, with large wind waves on the quarter. We ended up with two reefs and 100% jib just to keep the speed under 9 knots. Then we held on and said our thanks that the boys were asleep.
The next day wasn't as calm as we had hoped for, and the family hunkered down in the saloon for the day. Eric dozed with his mom and Elias did a champion job of entertaining himself. Crackers for breakfast and a PB&J (fixed by himself) for lunch and I'm not sure what was on the dinner menu.
"Ah, the romance of it all!" said Alisa.
Eric got through most of the day with his chin up but then in the afternoon puked all over the port settee - on my sleeping bag, between cushions, under floorboards and into the lockers beneath. I held him in the cockpit while Alisa cleaned up. "I want a house", Eric said to me. "I throw up when we're sailing and I DON'T LIKE throwing up!"
I, meanwhile, passed the day with a crippling migraine, the longest and most severe I can remember. Which means that I kept neither food nor water down and was generally useless for working the boat. All I could manage when the wind dropped was to roll out the jib, and we greeted the world with two reefs in the main all the day long. Looks like I haven't gotten the hang of managing migraines on passage.
In the afternoon, Elias had his first experience at keeping watch - upon Alisa's request, he would stick his head out of the companionway, report our course and speed, and scan the horizon for traffic.
So, that was one way to start a passage!
It's now 0200 local. I'm done with the migraine, and therefore able to write this. The wind has died and we're motoring, albeit with two reefs in the main. We wonder if we'll head for Minerva reef - we've heard things like "our favorite place in the world" from a few people, but stopping there would likely set us up for windward sailing into the trades on the final leg.
More soon, and we'll see in retrospect if instant sharing of the gory details is a good idea!
All well on board.
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